Aug. 26 marks the 96th anniversary of the constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote in 1920. The League of Women Voters of Kansas (LWVK) is marking this historic occasion by launching a new website, lwvk.org.
“Women’s Equality Day is all about celebrating what we, as Americans, can do to build a better democracy: Vote! The League of Women Voters of Kansas is here to help you get ready to vote and our new website is a great place to start,” said LWVK co-president Carole Neal.
Many people don’t realize that women in Wichita formed the first local League in the nation. Women in Kansas could vote in school board elections in 1861, municipal elections in 1887, and state elections in 1912. So, it was no surprise that Kansas was one of the first states to ratify the 19th Amendment.
“Kansas led the way for women’s voting rights,” said Neal, “and the League is still fighting for the right of every Kansas citizen to vote. Voting is still the key way to make an impact on the critical issues facing our communities.”
LWVK and its nine local Leagues work all year, every year to ensure that all eligible voters are able to participate. Local Leagues register voters at high schools and colleges, community events, and naturalization ceremonies. This year, LWVK has regularly purchased the Secretary of State’s “suspended” voter registration list, and posted it on our state and local websites so citizens could look for their names and take steps to finalize their registrations.
“With Election Day fast approaching, now is the time to make sure you, and the people in your life, are registered to vote at your current address. The deadline to register in Kansas is October 18,” said Neal. “Please set aside just a few minutes to check your registration status, as well as to start learning about the candidates and issues that will be on your ballot.”
One reason the League is a trusted source of information nationwide is its adherence to meticulous guidelines for studies before forming positions or advocating any public policy. Website visitors can view the methodology and brief policy statements at lwvk.org. The entire document of position statements is available by request. LWVK organizes state position statements within the categories of government, natural resources, and social policy. Among the many statement topics are state finance, criminal justice, fracking, mental health, and living wage.
“Another reason the League is one of the nation’s most trusted organizations is that in our 96-year history, we have never supported or opposed any political party or any candidate. We are political, but strictly nonpartisan,” said Neal. “That’s also why many people enjoy membership in the League. We work for good government, regardless of parties.”
“Women’s Equality Day is the perfect reminder to get ready and commit to vote this year,” concluded Neal.